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Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out (1997)

June 28, 2016


Artist #1: Pantera
Artist #2: Frank Black
Artist #3: Sleater-Kinney

[Album 460/1001]

“Didn’t we almost have it almost have it almost have it almost…”
– Sleater-Kinney, Jenny

I find stories of ‘almost’ attaining something incredibly compelling.

When marking exams/final projects at this time of year, a vintage hockey game I inevitably put on as background noise? Game 3 of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Canada almost wins it all before it all falls apart at the end.

The Great Gatsby is quickly becoming an annual re-read, with the title character almost having it all before…

My favourite Whitney Houston song? The rhetorically titled, Didn’t We Almost Have it All.

Preferred Adele song? Rolling in the Deep, featuring the recurring line, “They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.”

Maybe I keep re-reading/re-watching/re-listening, hoping it will somehow end differently for the protagonists?

Given all of the above, unsurprisingly, Dig Me Out‘s closing track, Jenny, featuring the post-opening “almost have it” quote, quickly climbed my list of “Jen” songs.

Top 5

Dig Me Out almost has it all for me.

On my Windsor drive, the CD provided a welcome boost of energy, I quite like the efficient & effective song structures. SleaterKinneyDigMeOut

It’s an album where the lyrics matter and Sleater-Kinney certainly caught and kept my attention.

Alas, I had one listening issue that took away from the experience, chances are my low-budget car stereo is to blame.

On a few tracks, when the lead vocals hit a high octave with some vibrato, the lyrics became harder to decipher and the audio became, to borrow a Black Crowes tune, hard to handle.

For example, on the title track, I absolutely devoured the magnificent low register bridge, “you got me, for now,” but then turned the volume down/played with the audio levels when the chorus returned.

Like I said, it’s likely a stereo limitation on my part, but it kept me from fully embracing the album.

But maybe that makes Sleater-Kinney all the more compelling?

I’ll certainly keep going back to re-listen to see if things will end differently.

From → 1990s

  1. I’ve always been meaning to listen to Sleater-Kinney, as I almost feel I will like them. This post has almost inspired me to dig them out, as I’ve been stuck in a musical rut lately!

  2. Zack permalink

    The thing that inspired me to listen to Sleater -Kinney is the show Portlandia. I’d never heard of them before, but after falling hopelessly in love with Carrie Brownstein on the show I had to see if her band was any good.
    They are. I’m still pretty in love with her.

    • I’ve been told good things about Portlandia – Zack, I’ll report back once I check it out!

  3. I’m gonna post this on FB for my wife, Jen, who will enjoy this. She used to hate the Tommy Tu-tone track, but has grown to like more now. The Killers was ALWAYS a favourite of ours when we were dating. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine was one we liked to request and dance to a lot.

    Great post, I’ve been meaning to check these ladies out for a while.

    • Thanks Mike!
      I’m glad Jen’s a fan of the Killers tune, a solid opening track.
      I often wonder about how people like their namesake songs – a colleague named Caroline once said, “I like how Sweet Caroline makes other people happy” – I thought that was a brilliant way to say, not a fan!

  4. Can I put in a vote for the Skyclad song ‘Spinning Jenny’?

  5. Don’t forget:

    Hawksley Workman – Almost A Full Moon
    Diana Krall – Almost Blue
    Sarah Harmer – Almost!

  6. Also, r.e. Jenny:

    No list is complete without Stephen Malkmus – Jenny And The Ess-Dog. πŸ™‚

    Of course, Sloan also covered Jenny, and Little Richard’s Jenny Jenny brings us to 3… and if we add Offspring’s Jennifer Lost The War, that could be 4!

  7. I used to own Dig Me Out (and All Hands On The Bad One) but like a dummy I likely sold them off. Loved them both. Fantastic band. Adding them to my Must Replace Copy list! Thanks!

  8. No ‘Jennifer Juniper’? Really?

  9. I know nothing here so it was a good lesson Geoff! Good read Dude!

  10. I got given (in an illegal MP3 manner) all of Sleater-Kinney’s stuff this winter and I think they’re a great listen too, so I’m painfully working my way through buying them all now.

    • I saw the LP recently for $20 – I wasn’t ready to meet that price point, but the $5 used CD has treated me well!

      • They are very good, I just missed out on them at the time. Damnit, maybe I’m not omniscient after all!

  11. I’ve always wanted to like Sleater Kinney after hearing this one a while back. Unfortunately it’s just not fully clicked. Almost. I have a couple of their discs, so I might revisit. Starting with this one.

    • I’m curious J if it does click upon revisiting, what made it work? Or if it still doesn’t, what’s amiss? I’m definitely ‘almost’ there with some other groups!

  12. I get why Sleater Kinney are popular with many critics. They’re highly original, and never sound dated. For some reason I can’t get past the point of just respecting them for their individuality. The songs are good, but there’s something missing. Maybe things will be clear when I come to review this.

    • Nice call on SK always sounding fresh – unsurprisingly, we have a similar outlook Geoff! I’m curious to hear if/when it really clicks for you, if you can determine what that magic ingredient is

  13. Sleater-Kinney are easily in my top-10 all-time favourite artists, and ‘Dig Me Out’ is probably in the same position when it comes to albums! SK are just such an amazing band – they are just so loud and passionate and biting and empowering, and their lyrics are so ferociously eloquent, and – they’re just incredible! And a great review, btw
    (Also – have you read Carrie Brownstein’s memoirs? They’re just as great a read for any music fan as her band’s songs are listening, in my opinion – she’s an incredible writer too…)

    • Ferociously eloquent lyrics – terrific description! Thanks Tangerinetrees99, I haven’t read her memoirs yet – so I shall add that to my homework list along with watching Portlandia!

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